'Hitler Goes Kaput'


Evidently, back in the commie days, Mel Brooks and the Zuckers must have snuck in behind the Iron Curtain. "Hitler Goes Kaput," an inspired lunacy here at the market, catapults through the last days of Berlin, heretofore verboten as comedy in das film community.

As every historian and fashionista knows, the Nazis had the best uniforms, and "Hitler" is a stylish smorgasbord of craziness. Its campy, cerebral, coarse buffoonery could land it playtime on cable comedy outlets and position it as a midnight romp at gay film festivals. Best, this Montecristo International offering plays in any language because it's mostly song and dance and slapstick and the dialogue is the universal language of nonsense.

With Pavel Derevyanko goose-stepping as Col. Shurenberg in what one might dub the Leslie Nielsen role, "Hitler" chronicles the clandestine operations from the Red Army Conspiratorial Penthouse in downtown, bombed-out Berlin. Shurenberg is a double agent, flouncing around to all the top Nazi events in Gestapo Hills. Plowing through the last-days bacchanalia with a bodacious fraulein (Anna Seminovich) in tow, Shurenberg is such a romp-meister that he even gets love notes from Martin Bormann.

In this goofery, there's something to please everyone: Dean Martin singing "Sway," big blondes heaving uber-bosoms, junior officers break-dancing to Viennese waltzes and even SS lugs using Facebook.

NYU film scholars and other nitpickers might grouse about anachronisms and incongruities or quibble about the veracity of Iron Hans' existence, but "Hitler" will delight Busby Berkeley fans, Zucker aficionados and those wishing to expand their minds.